back to article UK kids' charity lobbies hard for 'opt-in' web smut access

The founder of British charity ChildLine is calling on the government to take a hardline approach against what some consider to be hardcore pornography online - by enforcing an opt-in system for adults to protect kids from being traumatised by the images. Esther Rantzen said in an opinion piece published in the Daily Mail - …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Down to the parents....

    to monitor and restrict their children on the internet. My supplier (Virgin somewhat ironically in the context) gives out free parental control software, so there is no excuse.

    Since "sexting" is on the go, should mobiles not be restricted for children?

    And what about the fact that all the supermarkets are now flogging "mummy" porn next to the cornflakes, or is that OK cos it is not the internet? And it's written for women not men. Cant see Asda and Tescos placing copies of Fanny Hill next to the checkouts somehow.

    All this proposed censorship and state sponsored nannying cos parents shirk their responsibilities irritates, me, as well as this whole "internet is evil" crap....

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Down to the parents....

      So, logically, you would take the position that parents who shirk this responsibility should be held liable for any "damage" to their offspring that results from their "negligence" in failing to set up suitable internet filtering. Next stop, a country where you can end up on the sexual offenders register and have your kids taken away for not ticking the right boxes when you set up your internet connection.

      Rightly or wrongly, I get the impression that on the subject of spam and viruses, ISPs get a hard time from these forums for their failure to set up ISP-level spam and virus filters for the benefit of customers who don't know how to do it themselves. However, and quite conversely, they also get a hard time whenever they suggest setting up ISP-level porn filters for the benefit of the same customers.

      Given the widespread use of spam to install viruses that are then used to support distributed porn nets, this is ironic. Doubly so when you consider that the El Reg readership is probably more aware than most of the link between the two issues.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Down to the parents....

        Damage to offspring?

        What damage would be caused by a child seeing people have sex?

        Maybe some of the more extreme stuff would disturb them, but I doubt they would find that by accident!

        And yes it IS parents responsibility, if your child sees something that disturbs them, then I hope they know they can talk to you about it...

        1. The BigYin

          Re: Down to the parents....

          @AC 09:20 - A good comment, but why AC? Hey ho.

          "What damage would be caused by a child seeing people have sex?"

          Because the parents don't want to have to answer questions that they are uncomfortable with due to the dogma of their chosen sky-fairy cult.

          1. John Bailey
            Thumb Up

            Re: Down to the parents....

            Well.. The solution is obvious then.. Ban the sky fairy cults.

            Think of the amount of confusion that would save. The amount of children who would never be traumatised.

            Not to mention the sheer spiteful joy of watching them try to argue around the "think of the children" meme.

            Seriously though..

            The whole sex information approach is the only practical workable solution. But it can never be applied as long as religious groups "preserve the innocence" of children.

            Make it mandatory, Make it impossible to qualify as a school unless it is taught PROPERLY. And make it an offence similar to truancy if the kids do not get taught it.

            Within a generation, family child molestation (a real and serious problem) will disappear. Uncle Tony will be serving a stretch for touching his nephew in a way that really is unacceptable. Not just taking a photo of the kid in pair of swimming trunks in the back garden.

            Teenage pregnancy will be down.

            Children will not be traumatised by boobies.

            People will have a much healthier attitude to sex.

            Where is the down side?

            1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

              Re: Ban the sky fairy cults.

              No-one mentioned the sky fairy cults before you did. They aren't actually relevant to this discussion. Check out church attendance figures. The vast majority of people in the UK do not subscribe (except perhaps when asked a loaded question on a census form every ten years) to any "sky fairy cult". The UK is one of the least religious countries on the planet. Whatever is driving these calls for internet censorship, it is not religious fundamentalism.

        2. JDX Gold badge

          What damage would be caused by a child seeing people have sex?

          Porn isn't [real] sex.

      2. The BigYin
        FAIL

        Re: Down to the parents....

        @Ken Hagan - "Next stop, a country where you can end up on the sexual offenders register and have your kids taken away for not ticking the right boxes when you set up your internet connection."

        And what, precisely, is wrong with this? You'll get in deep kaka if you don't ensure your kids are properly belted in a car. There's more do-do if you don't ensure your kids go to school. If you don't keep the booze under control and let your kids start necking slammers, you'll be up to your neck in it. Rinse and repeat.

        Why is the Internet any different?

        Because it is a "computer" and computers are big-n-scary and people don't know how they work? No excuse. If you are going to let your kids loose on something, you better have at least a passing knowledge of:

        1) Do they need protected? and

        2) How to protect them.

        If kids start seeing porn on the house PC, the parents have no one to blame but themselves. If they don't understand, they can either learn or hire someone who does. Ignorance is no excuse.

        There are two main differences between SPAM, malware and porn.

        1) SPAM is an irritant at best, an attack on the recipient's naivety at worst and a strain on the ISP

        2) Malware is an outright attack and may result in a strain on the ISP (e.g. DDOS zombie)

        Porn is just yet another piece of content and getting at the content is what people pay for. It is not up to the ISP to censor or restrict people, only to protect itself and SPAM or malware really fall into that remit. This, of course, does not alleviate the responsibility of people to know what they are doing. We would have less SPAM and malware issues if people were not so monumentally ignorant and knew basics like "What's a file extension?", "Don't execute random guff off the interwebs", "What's a security update?" etc.

        "support distributed porn nets" what the hell are you talking about? If you mean porn-bait sites used to distribute malware, that's one thing and I'm fine with an ISP blocking those. But not blocking porn (or pretty much anything else) in general.

        Furthermore, we must consider the unintended consequences of the "opt-in" list. When that gets leaked to the press, how do you think people are going to feel when the gutter rags splash "Internet Perv Joe Miggins is Primary School Neighbour"? Not well at all.

        1. CmdrX3
          Thumb Up

          Re: Down to the parents....

          @The BigYin 11.54

          I was going to write a reply, but you have quite eloquently already covered pretty much and more of what I would have said so a simple upvote should suffice on this occasion.

        2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: Down to the parents....

          "And what, precisely, is wrong with this? You'll get in deep kaka if you don't ensure your kids are properly belted in a car. There's more do-do if you don't ensure your kids go to school. If you don't keep the booze under control and let your kids start necking slammers, you'll be up to your neck in it. Rinse and repeat."

          What, precisely, is wrong with this is that 99% of the population can manage all of the straw men you put up but couldn't manage to configure parental controls on their internet connection in a way that blocks the average teenager with a hand-held device. Most parents aren't stupid or irresponsibly negligent, but most don't have your level of technical expertise either.

          ISPs are in the right place on the network (upstream of all the devices in your home) and have the necessary technical skills. Certainly the parent needs to be in control of the *policy*, but if they then decide that they want someone clueful to actually implement said policy, I see no reason not to encourage that.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Down to the parents....

      Isn't it surprising how the comments fall into two particular groups, those that have children and those that do not.

      For those that do not I suggest that you make your comments when you do have them, they will be more relevant.

      As a parent myself, it is up to me to deal with this, whether I put parental controls on the Internet, or discuss the issues with my children and help to make them responsible choices, it is still up to me.

      I do not need nannying by the state, being told what I can or cannot do. For those irresponsible parents, they don't need to be nannied, they need to be trained in how to be parent, but that too would have to be defined.

      Once given the tools, they can then make choices.

      I do not need some mumsnet middle class goody two shoes parent lobbiest forcing through an unenforceable law.

      1. Glen 1 Bronze badge
        Megaphone

        Re: Down to the parents....

        Folks, remember to add your voices to combat the whitewash of a consultation.

        Although keep in mind the original questionnaire had such travesties as (paraphrased) "Do you think everyone's connection should be censored, or just those of the people who live with children? Tick the box of which one below."

        1. The BigYin

          Re: Down to the parents....

          @Glen 1 - Closed questions like that are common and should render the consultation null-and-void. It's a travesty that it is so easy for government to manipulate democracy in this manner.

  2. Thomas 18
    Facepalm

    but...

    Think of the CHILDREN!!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: but...

      downvoted for lack of originality.

    2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: but...

      Ok, lets.

      Trying to limit porn on the internet is like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500.

      So rather than try and limit porn on a tool that was meant for adults, lets kick the little buggers off the 'net until they are old enough.

      Sure that sounds pretty piss poor, but lets consider that little Jimmy probably doesn't know how to find a book in a library. There are some serious off line skills that he needs to learn...

  3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Unhappy

    It's called "pr0n"

    > ChildLine was witnessing a rise in "sexting" among teenagers, with boys putting pressure on girls to send them sexually explicit images of themselves via text.

    Kids these days. We didn't have half that kind of fun. In fact, the local church representative told us in no uncertain terms what's what.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's called "pr0n"

      "We didn't have half that kind of fun. In fact, the local church representative told us in no uncertain terms what's what."

      In 1962 our church youth club was a house where young teenagers could play table tennis etc. It had a trendy supervisor who you had to call by his first name. It was closed down after the church organist's daughter took advantage of some of the more secluded facilities and became pregnant.

    2. wobbly1

      Re: It's called "pr0n"

      "the local church representative told us in no uncertain terms what's what." ..and in some cases showed us what was what and where it went even if you didn't want them to. Subsequently many church representatives needed the help of the bishop to avoid prosecution for their unwarranted demonstration. The church should hold it's tongue on the morality of porn and children, if it doesn't want accusations hypocrisy.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    only growth industries are; blocks/filters, guards, non lethal weapon design, surveillance, spy gear

    So now we have this schizophrenic government that can't decide whether it is a) proud to have invented the internet or b) wants to be the first to destroy it.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Government funded "charity" lobbying goverment.

    This is nuts.

    Childline merged with NSPCC.

    Goverment funds NSPCC to the tune of £11m

    They do a good job, but they should stfu when it comes to lobbying.

    1. The Axe

      Re: Government funded "charity" lobbying goverment.

      NSPCC is a fake charity.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Government funded "charity" lobbying goverment.

      NSPCC annual income - £114million

      RSPCA annual income - £115million*

      RSPB annual income - £122million

      What I find staggering is not just that people give more to animals than children but that the annual income for these charities is over £100 million.

      * The RSPCA operates a franchise system with each district a separate charity. The figures for each district would significantly increase this figure. As an example example, Bolton and District has an annual income of £300k

      1. Mycho Silver badge

        Re: Government funded "charity" lobbying goverment.

        "What I find staggering is not just that people give more to animals than children"

        People give to other children's charities too. Given its bad reputation it's a marvel the NSPCC gets that much.

      2. Chris Parsons

        Re: Government funded "charity" lobbying goverment.

        @AC 09:35

        It's because, on the whole, animals are much more rewarding than children.

  6. Big_Ted

    OK if they want to protect children then make it simple.

    Require all computers to be sold with a "Nanny" system installed so that you need to log in to be able to access various stuff.

    That way the kiddies can have their login which has a whitelist of sites they can visit and you can turn off chat, mail etc if you want, then your login that has full unfettered access to everything, it could then in the event of a non kiddie house have a choice once logged in to disable the login process.

    It is down to the parents to decide what their children can see and use not the state or campaigners no matter how well meaning, lets make it simple for all parents to take control and leave us the adults free to make our own choices without having to be recorded on a database etc as someone who enjoys porn or anything else "adult" on the net.

    The government could set up a site that lists all child safe sites with easy download to the computer if they want to be involved but to demand I must say I like porn etc is at the most basic level an infringement to have my own opinion on a subject and the right to keep that opinion to myself.

    1. The Axe

      Re: OK if they want to protect children then make it simple.

      So this whitlist will contain sites like facebook and twitter where there is a lot of nasty stuff like bullying. Yeah, a list will really work - not!

      Best thing is to teach kids how to react to bad stuff. To report bullying and to tell parents about what they see. That way they can be told that sex is normal but sometimes there are fetishes. And bullying can be nipped in the bud.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: OK if they want to protect children then make it simple.

      "all computers to be sold with a "Nanny" system installed "

      I presume you actually mean "all OSs..."

      1. Suricou Raven

        Re: OK if they want to protect children then make it simple.

        'I presume you actually mean "all OSs..."'

        Politicians. I doubt they know the difference.

    3. A. N. Onymouse
      Linux

      Re: OK if they want to protect children then make it simple.

      "Require all computers to be sold with a "Nanny" system installed so that you need to log in to be able to access various stuff."

      Oh yes because that will stop it.

      All it takes is for some kid to pop in a live linux disk from the cover of just about any linux magazine in any reasonable sized supermarket in the UK or even just download a live linux image and burn it to a USB stick. No blocks, no trace of any dodgy surfing and mum and dad live in a pink fluffy world thinking that the software is working.

      Kids are far more switched on when it comes to IT (specifically circumventing blocks) than adults. The only way is to talk to and educate the kids about the risks or else become Amish.

      Andy

      1. Suricou Raven

        Re: OK if they want to protect children then make it simple.

        If a kid can figure out how to do that, they can handle the porn.

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: If a kid can figure out how to do that, they can handle the porn.

          Really? You cannot possibly be a parent. Consider...

          A family has three children. The eldest is 15 and can easily figure all that out. The youngest is 8 and couldn't possibly figure it out but can certainly copy his big brother's memory stick once he's been let in on the secret. Aforesaid 8-year-old then exchanges "magic internet stick" with friends in playground who don't have older siblings. End result? The parents of an 8yo with no elder siblings to learn from has managed to bypass the parental controls software on a PC that is "locked down" with separate administrative and normal user accounts in the approved manner. So he finds some juicy porn and shows it to his younger sibling because he knows it will make her shriek in an amusing fashion.

          Now, what proportion of the parental population do you think are able to block that attack vector? 1%?

      2. Jumpto

        Re: OK if they want to protect children then make it simple.

        Hey Andy,

        Check out Secure Kids by Jumpto. Admittedly it will not work with older kids or with kids already used to the Internet., They will find the restrictions too limiting. But with younger kids, they love the interface and they use it willingly. There is no way to circumvent Secure Kids unless the parent who owns the main account allows it.

  7. auburnman
    Thumb Down

    I thought ChildLine was supposed to be there for abused children who are in fear for their safety or their lives. Is Esther seriously now saying that part of their time is being taken up by "a big rise in calls from disturbed youngsters who had encountered smut when surfing the web" ? I find it very hard to believe you can "accidentally" find smut on the internet. If you find it then you were already on the shady side of town. I wonder if these calls are simply convincing pranksters like the little gits who dial 999.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: accidentally find smut

      I think the suggestion is that these youngsters were looking for smut but found something rather more grim.

      The article doesn't say how old these children are. If we are talking about under 12s then accidentally finding a link to Caterpillar probably *is* rather distressing and (equally) probably something you don't want to resolve by going to Mummy and admitting that you turned off "safe search".

      1. auburnman
        Childcatcher

        Re: accidentally find smut

        I get your point, but If they're going to look for smut online then they need to accept that they may occasionally stumble across some awful awful stuff* - that's just a fact of the world today and I don't think something ChildLine has the power or the duty to stop beyond giving advice. What gets me is Rantzen using it to support the opt-in nanny state crackdown. After all fifty calls a year is less than one a week - but THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!

        *And becoming interested in nudie pics and looking for smut is a healthy part of growing up in my opinion. Cracking down on relatively safe access from the privacy of the home could well do more harm than good.

        1. Suricou Raven

          Re: accidentally find smut

          I've never seen any real evidence that the 'awful, awful stuff' is really damaging. Distressing for a while, yes. It can send the kids running to Mummy and give them nightmares for a while. But lasting psychological trauma? No. I don't think children are that delicate that a few images are going to ruin them, and I shall continue to think so until I get to see some credible (ie, not-from-a-pressure-group) child psychologists show that this happens in more than a tiny minority of cases.

  8. Mycho Silver badge

    Sexting

    Children were always showing one another their bodies. Sexting adds a layer of safety by allowing them to do so from beyond arm's reach.

    However, it is not in the NSPCC's interests for children to be safe in a recession, so they need it stopped.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sexting

      I agree with you, there has always been an element of 'you show me yours and i'll show you mine' between boys and girls, more so from families that hide away nudity from kids and don't discuss sex with them... the fact is kids grow up, and if they don't learn that there is nothing wrong with nudity & sex, then they will grow up disturbed more so than if they accidental visit a porn site..

      WHAT child would call child-line after seeing porn?

      Surely it should be more of a concern at what are the parents doing that the kids can't ask them rather than saying 'oh no a child saw a bit of nookie' lets censor the internet!.. IMHO even the IWF needs to be very careful in its job, especially after the wiki incident!

      I am all for offering filters to parents, but make them opt in, or as they say an 'active choice' on signup but I know that my son by the time he is 8 will be able to bypass any blocks put in place..

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sexting @Mycho

      ' Sexting adds a layer of safety by allowing them to do so from beyond arm's reach.

      However, it is not in the NSPCC's interests for children to be safe in a recession, so they need it stopped.'

      Odd and disturbing comment you make here? Sexting is also a known predator activity used to encourage children. Not to mention to sexting photos that have been passed round mobile phones, one example being a young girl having a photo passed round nearly all mobile phones in her year group at school.

      Yet you say Sexting adds a layer of safety? I think you might want to withdraw the comment,as it is so inane.

      1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        Re: Sexting @Mycho

        Odd and disturbing comment you make here? Sexting is also a known predator activity used to encourage children.

        So is talking to them in the park, what's your point exactly?

        What the OP should have said is it adds a layer of perceived safety.

        It's incredibly stupid to send pics of your body parts to someone else if there's any chance they're going to get shown around, but then teens aren't exactly known for having great judgement all the time! The fact is, the principle isn't that different to passing someone a polaroid, it's just that it's now far easier to 'share'.

  9. OrsonX
    Gimp

    "what some consider to be hardcore pornography"

    Only some?!

    I'm pretty sure it IS hardcore pornography.

    Perhaps I'm not looking in the right place?!

    Or, perhaps the Daily Mail readers are not looking in the right place......

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "what some consider to be hardcore pornography"

      I'm pretty sure that Daily Mail readers won't consider it hardcore pornography. It will be some variety of 'sick filth' that will need to be banned before the country descends into anarchy.

  10. David 45

    Do-gooders at it again.

    Methinks our Esther doth protest too much. She was always too much of a do-gooder for MY liking on her TV show. Surely the answer is good parenting? Why should the internet be different to anything else that kids see? There's enough "undesirable" stuff in every-day life and media news items that parents have to deal with that might disturb children and most handle it very well. I can see the "opt-in" suggestion that is being championed by the usual technically-incompetent group of politicians and grand-standers (as the colonists across the pond are fond of saying!) being used to deliberately block legitimate sites or just producing plain old errors. Who's to grade the "undesirability" of sites? Will we have a minus star rating? I strongly object to being nannied in this way. The government has much more pressing and world-shattering things to worry about, like the extradition or Julian Assagne, Richard O'Dwyer and Gary McKinnon. (Oops. Click! Sarcastic and cynical modes switched off).

  11. Alastair Dodd 1
    Thumb Down

    Title should've been

    "Technically clueless busybody wades in with useless 2c."

    Seriously censorship enforced for everyone is NEVER the right solution. Net control software is widely available and easy for parents to set up & loads of people who will help if they have problems with it.

    What is next for those who ask not to be censored? If you are on the list you are forced to wear a playboy bunny badge in public?

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Title should've been

      No-one is suggesting *enforcement*, merely a default option. Also, parents may not know that they've failed to set it up properly and so won't seek help even if it is available. ISPs are much better placed to get such technical issues right. (Yes, even the bottom feeder ISPs who we love to hate.)

      I'd also point out that kids have access to the internet through all sorts of devices these days. The assumption that a software package on the PC is going to suffice is just laughable. You need to cover games consoles, Android hand-helds, Nintendo DSes, etc. The *appropriate* place to install filters is therefore at the home router or even further upstream.

      1. Graham Dawson
        Headmaster

        Re: Title should've been

        This "default option" requires ISPs or some other entity to take an active role classifying and listing sites as either "safe" or "unsafe" and its status as a default creates a situation where you have to ask for permission - in effect a license - to carry out acts that were previously free and unencumbered.

        And the definition of enforcement?

        1. To compel observance of or obedience to something

        2. To impose (a kind of behavior, for example)

        3. To give force to; reinforce

        So they are in fact suggesting enforcement.

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: definition of enforcement

          All 3 of your proposed definitions have an element of compulsion that "default option" lacks. So by your own argument, this isn't enforcement.

          And unticking the box on your ISP's settings page is not "in effect a license". Licences are things you have to pay for or obtain approval for from some agency who have the authority to say "no". That's not what is suggested here. One can easily imagine a police state where that is the next step, but no-one with political credibility has suggested that yet and we can beat them to a pulp with a clue stick as and when they do.

          All that an *optional* filter would do would be to give the vast majority of people as much control as they want. It would take the sting out of this issue, since the rabid control freaks would no longer have the silent majority behind them muttering "well, yes, the present system isn't working".

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Title should've been

        "No-one is suggesting *enforcement*"

        Not yet.

      3. Suricou Raven

        Re: Title should've been

        The test to see if the censorware works is obvious: You go to sex.com, and see if it works.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    soon it will be illegal to see a human body

    population reduction: once they can get us to hide our genitals its not long before they will be removed entirely.

  13. DrXym Silver badge

    How hard is this really

    Person: "I'd like internet please"

    ISP: "Certainly and do you want child / family protection set up on your account?"

    Person: "No thanks"

    ISP: "You're good to go and if you want to change your settings you can do it onlin?"

    There should be absolutely no need to opt-out of censorship. ISPs should be encouraged, possibly compelled to offer family safety software either on the ISP or via client software but it should be off by default.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How hard is this really

      Perhaps a leaflet should be given away with new computers about keeping your family safe on the net.

      The last page could also have these words writ large: "and bloody well use anti-virus software"

      1. Chris Miller

        Anti-virus software

        There's plenty of perfectly adequate (for home use) free AV software available (even from MS). But for some inexplicable* reason, manufacturers much prefer to preload their systems with bloatware that's free for a few months and then requires an annual licence payment (that hardly anyone ever makes).

        Of course, for the technically literate, the first step on acquiring a new system is to do a clean reinstall of the OS (or a different OS).

        * Nothing to do with money changing hands, I'm sure.

    2. VinceH Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: How hard is this really

      The problem with the isp asking if you want child/family protection on your account is that while it sounds like opting in to the censorship, behind the scenes it could still be the other way around:

      Person: "I'd like internet please"

      ISP: "Certainly and do you want child / family protection set up on your account?"

      Person: "No thanks"

      [Ticks box to include customer on the 'national register of voluntarily disclosed perverts ']

      ISP: "You're good to go and if you want to change your settings you can do it online."

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How hard is this really

      The issue is that it wont be long before your script (and its fine in my book) is modified to include:

      ISP: "Certainly and do you want child / family protection set up on your account?"

      Person: "No thanks"

      ISP: "OK, please sign this register to indicate you want to allow porn and smut via your ISP so we can than label you a potential kiddie fiddler and extreme porn ogler. Your details will then be passed on to the new gubermint dept so when your child is involved in a minor fracas/offence WE know who's to blame."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How hard is this really

        On the flip side, the more people that tick the opt-out, the more pointless the list becomes. If 99% opt-out there is no point in having a "watch" list.

    4. nsld
      Stop

      Re: How hard is this really

      Interesting idea but.

      By having to opt in to a list to be able to access the whole web you will then join a list of people deemed to be potential rapists/abusers/terrorists/whatever.

      Given that most of the government funded womens charities consider all men as rapists waiting for an opportunity what better way than to narrow down who they are by making them join a list of people who want to watch porn.

      That list will undoubtedly join the other lists that appear on an enhanced CRB check and on it goes.

      Blocking porn wont work as the kids will always find a way to get what they want on the web but at least the man hating terrorists will have a pre crime list without some pre cogs, a pool and Tom Cruise!

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: How hard is this really

        "By having to opt in to a list to be able to access the whole web you will then join a list of people deemed to be potential rapists/abusers/terrorists/whatever."

        And that list would be so large as to be utterly meaningless.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How hard is this really

          > And that list would be so large as to be utterly meaningless.

          What makes you think the list would be that large?

          The opt-in clause would have to be specific as to what you were opting into. In other words it would have to state you were opting in to able to view explicit adult materials. This would be enough for large swathes of the population to not opt-in. Not because they are against pornography, but because they would be embarrassed to opt-in. Yes it is ridiculous but that is the way people are.

        2. nsld
          Facepalm

          Re: How hard is this really

          DrXym

          Reply Icon

          Re: How hard is this really

          "By having to opt in to a list to be able to access the whole web you will then join a list of people deemed to be potential rapists/abusers/terrorists/whatever."

          And that list would be so large as to be utterly meaningless.

          =====

          Not really, the overall list might be very large but consider the following "uses"

          Campaigns to check partners out could include the data allowing personal searches of the list, after all, according to the do gooders anyone watching porn.........

          Or, you are in family court proceedings to see your children and the other side seek disclosure of your choice......

          Someone is sexually assualted in your neighbourhood, its easy to sort by location of each person on the list via the telco records, hey presto, a local list of porn viewers/web deviants.....

    5. Suricou Raven

      Re: How hard is this really

      Followed by The Parents coming round to visit, curiously checking if the connection is pron-enabled and commencing a huge row with the offspring they now regard as a deviant pervert.

  14. The Infamous Grouse
    Facepalm

    Every bad idea needs a brand identity

    So while internet industry experts repeatedly try to ram home the fact that implementing porn filters is at best difficult and at worst futile, Government and charities still insist on treating it as analogous to a utility pipe whose contents can somehow be kept at bay by the turning of a virtual tap.

    In light of this I'd like to suggest a brand name for their theoretical opt-in porn filter.

    Stopcock.

    They can have that for free. I even have a few ideas for a logo.

    1. Chris Miller
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Every bad idea needs a brand identity

      Bravo!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Every bad idea needs a brand identity

      I think my ex-wife has one of those.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Every bad idea needs a brand identity

        Mine IS one....

  15. oopsie

    Possibly an Opportunity?

    While I'm against censorship, and would opt for unfiltered internet access simply on principle (some of the stuff that Vodafone censor in the name of blocking adult content would be amusing were it not worrying) if the "think of the children 'cus the parents aren't" brigade feel that we should have censored internet, I'd suggest that the problem is that those who should be responsible for the internet connection are either unwilling or unable to control its use. As such, if there are going to be filters put in place, can they also filter out the command and control addresses of known viruses, possibly block ports that're currently being used for attacks and rarely used for other things, etc? This would seem at least as feasible and more likely to do some actual good.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Possibly an Opportunity?

      Some ISP's already block port 25.

      1. Annihilator

        Re: Possibly an Opportunity?

        But fortunately leave 587 open

  16. oopsie

    Also...

    It strikes me that if a child finds 'bad' porn on the internet and they feel that their best course of action is to call Child Line, the most pressing problem probably isn't that they've found porn on the internet...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ironic really

    My love of porn began with Esther Rantzen blatantly flashing her stocking tops on That's Life. After seeing that I just couldn't get enough. I'm sure I'm not alone and it appears Mz. Rantzen is now trying to assuage her feelings of guilt that she should have knowingly awakened such a monster in so many young men.

    1. Irongut

      Re: Ironic really

      Ugh! I'd opt in to some kind of filter that ensures I never see that!

      1. auburnman
        Unhappy

        Re: Ironic really

        It's too late for me, it's all I can see when I close my eyes now. Thanks AC...

  18. Khaptain Silver badge

    If those children think Pr0n is disturbing

    Then don't ever leave them alone in front of a television when the news is on. Death, catastrophy, illness, recession, unemployement figures rising.

    Now that is really disturbing.

  19. John P
    WTF?

    Will someone please think of the children.

    All this just stinks of bone-idle parenting.

    If kids are being exposed to porn on t'Internet, then it's because their parents aren't properly supervising them or setting up parental controls.

    How long before you have to opt in to non-child suitable content on TV? Or how long until the Government starts ordering the blocking of sites based on religious or political content under the guise of protecting the children or the state from Terrorists?

    It may seem absurd, but once you enable opt-in censoring, it's only a matter of time before feature-creep sets in...

    I saw porn when I was a kid (albeit grainy soft-core images I found on my Dad's computer), but it did not damage me in anyway or turn me in to a sexual predator with warped views of intimacy, because my parents brought me up to not be an idiot.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Will someone please think of the children.

      "How long before you have to opt in to non-child suitable content on TV?"

      Video On Demand and recordings on their PVR on Virgin Media (and, I assume, Sky) requires a PIN to watch some post-watershed content at pre-watershed times. You can't turn that option off AFAIK.

      1. noodled24

        Re: Will someone please think of the children.

        Yes you can. It's in the settings.

        As for video on demand all you have to do is click "Yes I'm whatever age I need to be to watch this even if I'm not actually that age" (unless by "some" you mean paid content in which case the pin is to make sure you know you're going to be charged. But you can watch the preview without a pin.

        You also don't have to be 18 to buy a copy of the Sun Newspaper (page 3). Come to think of it you don't even need to be 18 to enter a newsagents and those places have shelves full of hardcore porn any child with their eyes open can see.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mary Whitehouse

    has risen from the Grave.

    And Mandatory Web Controls will identify to the Stasi State all of those who *must* have something to hide.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mary Whitehouse

      This.

      "this new danger"

      It's neither new nor dangerous and this is where the argument falls apart, and the whole thing must be ended for obvious stupid and the fact that any controls will be *trivial* to work round much like piratebay blocks.

      Lets see:

      It's a waste of time, it's actually dangerous in and of itself, it will fail to do what it intended, it will be expensive, and everybody will opt-out anyways because what kind of nutjob doesn't actually like porn - so you'd still need to get some sort of secondary block going purely because your net will be open.

      I get more concerned about the mental state of people who don't like porn than the people who do (i.e. everybody).

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about...

    ... an opt-out (signed in triplicate) for those who do not wish to declare their membership of the Freemasons?

  22. Oor Nonny-Muss
    Stop

    I have been online since 1989 - I have yet to "accidentally" stumble upon porn. Yes, I have found it, but only when actively looking for it. No different to finding scudbooks (that's jazz mags to those in England) in hedges on the way to/from school - you never found them if you weren't looking.

    I have a son at primary school - when he's online at home he is under supervision, not by "NetNanny" or the likes - but by me (or by his mum) - I'm sure I'm not alone in being a techie parent that runs an open but tightly monitored ship (I log all activity on t'internet here and take a scan through the logs for any activities that I don't recognise on a regular basis). I stop nothing and log everything.

    On the rare occasion when he's at school and online (which I've signed the consent form for) I take it on trust that the teacher(s) involved will act in loco parentis and supervise appropriately.

    He doesn't have a mobile phone because he doesn't need one (and hasn't expressed a desire for one). When he wants/needs one I shall assume that he will be mature enough not to go looking for anything that "distresses him" more than once - if he's not mature enough to handle that, then he's not mature enough to handle the mobile device.

    Victorian Dad.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      on the contrary

      When I worked for a large bell-shaped communications company in the early 90's. They had a no-porn policy with a maximum penalty of termination. About once a month, I'd type (or actully mis-type) a URL into my browser and end up on a site that I shouldn't have been able to reach (because of their filter) and shouldn't have been accessing (because of their policy). At that point, I cut-and-paste it into an email to the corp. security group and tell them that their filter missed another site.

      In the mean time, Google Image Search has become the largest porn repository on the planet, probably in the known universe, so unless you're going to block *.google.com, you have no way to block this type of content, and should, instead, teach your children how to handle images like this.

      These discussions always remind me of the warning that TV stations play before showing really juicy footage of accidents, suicides, train wrecks, wars, etc. Which does nothing more than keep anyone from turning the channel or leaving the room.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: on the contrary

        I work at a school, maintaining a filter, and I can confirm the google image method is by far the most popular way for them to access porn. Their main weapon against the filter is persistance: Go through enough suggestive search terms, eventually something will get through. One technique is to search on the stage names of porn performers - as it isn't realistic for the filter to maintain a list of the names of every porn performer ever, they are usually not blocked search terms.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    After moving from the UK to Denmark I was quite surprised at the difference in attitudes towards the body in things like advertisements. Here they don't seem to feel the need to shy away from the human body so much. A good example would be when I walked past an underwear shop (Just a run of the mill one, nothing kinky) and there was a ~10 foot tall picture in the window of two ladies spooning in lacy underwear.

    But pretty much everything seems more casual over here. In England we get a stern doctor style "Have you had your five a day?!" here, as the Danish word for six sounds a lot like the English word sex (Can I say sex, Esther?) they did a healthy eating advertising campaign that played on this, asking if the Danish populous had their seks today.

  24. Zombie Womble
    Thumb Down

    Esther Rantzen on Radio 4.

    "There are those who want to access internet porn but caring loving parents....."

    There you have it, anyone who opts out of filtering isn't a 'caring loving parent'.

    How long will it be before they insist on lists of these defective parents?

  25. tommy060289
    IT Angle

    Im so sick and tired of the word twisting...

    You don't opt in to a free system. It should be free by default. If you want to opt in. You should be opting in to a filtered system.

    1. Annihilator
      Flame

      Re: Im so sick and tired of the word twisting...

      Indeed. I'm not entirely sure why the onus is on *me* as a non-parent to opt-in to a non-ruined internet so that parents can remain on their arses doing sweet F.A. to protect precious little Johnny's eyes. "porn blocked" filters block much more than they intend - for an example, look at O2's mobile filter that randomly blocks cycling forums.

      I think The Office sums it up rather well..

      "Do you think we care as much about your baby as you do? Just because you let some useless tosser blow his beans up your muff. "

    2. Suricou Raven

      Re: Im so sick and tired of the word twisting...

      When politicians call it 'opt-in' now, I can't even tell if they mean 'opt in to the filtering' or 'opt in to the porn.'

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Think of the problems this would cause.

    There are ways round these filters. All it takes are proxies outside the ISP's blocked list. Kids are smart enough to figure that one out.

    Idiots will assume their child is 100% safe and not bother checking what they are doing. So all the Facebook predators will get them. Even innocent image hosting sites get porn dumped on them for all to see till the site sensors pick up on it (usually after complains as they don't have time to check every image).

    Normal sites will get blocked. Look at the problems the breast feeding groups have had on Facebook. Even this place could be blocked when someone says 'fuck' too many times.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Re: Think of the problems this would cause.

      Fuck! Are you kidding?

  27. John Munyard

    The Daily Mail

    No shortage of irony that Ranzten published her opinion piece in the Daily Mail, who's online edition is at least 50% tits and arse stories these days...

  28. Mark 183
    Devil

    Surely the obvious solution is for the market to decide? Launch a "child-friendly" ISP with all the content filtering at the ISP-level and have separate all-in ISPs where you can surf how where and what the hell you want.

    Of course no filters are infallible as there's nothing to stop people uploading questionable content to otherwise benign sites like Facebook and Twitter. Sure they'll be removed eventually but by then the damage is done and the image of goatse.jpg shall be indelibly etched into the fragile mind of Little Johnny.

    1. Annihilator
      Meh

      "the image of goatse.jpg shall be indelibly etched into the fragile mind of Little Johnny"

      Hmm... actually you've just sold me on the idea of the filter now - any chance we can get a goatse-filter? I'm 31 and it's indelibly etched into my fragile mind!

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Launch a "child-friendly" ISP with all the content filtering at the ISP-level

      Something like AOL? Oh....

  29. Jess

    The best thing is to require new routers to contain this facility.

    I would suggest routers would be required to support separate SSIDs with different controls.

    Unlimited. (wpa2 only)

    One approximating a15 rating (which shuts down at midnight and turns on at 6 am)

    One for youngsters (which works 8am - 9pm)

    The ports would be assigned the same control as one of these groups.

    These would be able to be renamed and have passwords changed as required, and be enabled or disabled.

    Advanced options (not mandatory) would be to to create custom filters, more SSIDs and individually control ports and only work with registered MACs

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The best thing is to require new routers to contain this facility.

      It's a good idea, except for the word "required". If the market can bear it, then create one and add the cost of developing the solution to that one. I'm not paying for it thanks.

  30. Turtle

    The problem with this thread.

    The problem with this thread is that the commenters do not identify themselves as having or not having children (with whom they live - absent parents' opinions are not as important as the opinions of parents who actually take care of the kids.)

    It would be interesting to see how the parental status of the commenters correlates with their opinions.

    Of course, I would expect that there would be more than a few people who would lie about it....

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Arion

      Re: The problem with this thread.

      Bullshit!

      The validity of someones opinion isn't related to whether or not someone has children, or if so what their relationship is with aforementioned children. Perhaps people in different circumstances would have different preferences, but I don't think this dilutes their validity. This law presumably would affect both parents and non-parents, male and female equally.

      I note that you didn't actually disclose your own family status, but for the record, I'm male, single, and I've got no children.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The problem with this thread.

      (only @Turtle so he can see that I have taken note of his parental status comment).

      There is little justification for such an opt-in system. In my experience, kids, when they reach a certain age, are curious about all manner of things. It's my experience that most trauma suffered by kids who are exposed (no pun intended) to online pornography suffer such trauma because they get caught - not because they see images of sexual acts.

      Ms Rantzen could perhaps make a few quid for ChildLine by dropping this moronic idea and becoming a reseller for say OpenDNS (or similar), which already provide a reasonable degree of filtering capability. Problem solved - well as much as this 'problem' can be solved anyway :)

      To be honest, as a parent with recent experience of this, and similar, issues what I can say is that, if Ms Rantzen and Co. believe porn filters are a necessary priority then she has her priorities in the wrong order. There are far more important issues you should be addressing Ms Rantzen.

      I would like to start a rant now about IT education and online awareness as presented within UK educational establishments, but I'll save that for another day.

    4. Red Bren
      Paris Hilton

      Speaking as a parent*

      OK, I'll bite.

      It's my job to keep act as gatekeeper to the internet, just the same as I do for TV or any other medium. There are plenty of tools to help me do this, but these are no substitutes for communication and trust. I encourage my child to talk to her mother or me about anything she doesn't understand or upsets her. I also believe in giving her space to make her own decisions so she can see the consequences and I would trust her to do the right thing far more than any ISP or prudish lobbying group.

      * Becoming a parent hasn't changed my opinion on this subject and it certainly doesn't make my opinion more valid than a non-parent.

      Paris, as an example of child rearing without boundaries.

    5. nsld
      FAIL

      Re: The problem with this thread.

      downvoted for your fuckwitt comment about absent parents.

      I have kids at home as well as with an ex, its my job to protect them, not the daily mail.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The problem with this thread.

      Disclosure: stepdaughter 17, son 16, son 14. I absolutely agree with all comments that restriction of this material is parental responsibility and that any other approach looks like the top of a slippery slope towards censorship of content or discrimination against those who opt out.

      During the decade long custody battle for which Legal Aid gave my wife a blank chequebook whilst my 'win' cost me my house and most of my career, my apparent permission for my kids to play violent video games was raised in court. Fortunately I had anticipated this, and brought the case of Worrms 3D to the court with me, and the judge laughed off the accusation. Can you imagine what would happen to any man who had been forced to admit that he had once looked at some porn?

    7. Old Handle

      Re: The problem with this thread.

      Uh, considering the idea here is to thrust filtering on everybody by default I think it's okay for people who are not parents to have an opinion. (Even a required but off-by-default filter would incur costs that we'll all end up paying.) Let the people who want it pay for I say.

    8. Annihilator
      FAIL

      Re: The problem with this thread.

      "The problem with this thread is that the commenters do not identify themselves as having or not having children (with whom they live - absent parents' opinions are not as important as the opinions of parents who actually take care of the kids.)"

      Firstly, it's irrelevant as it's impacting *everyone* so all opinions matter. Secondly, the relationship status of the parents generally has fuck all relevance to how much they "take care of the kids" as you so charmingly put it.

      To put it simply for you, this type of law or proposal is the equivalent of, say, ardent cartoon haters insisting that ISPs block any cartoons by default because they don't want to see it, and forcing anyone who likes cartoons to be forced to "opt in" to see it.

      It's for the <insert group here> to have an opt-out if they really want it, not to have everyone else to take action on their behalf.

    9. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The problem with this comment in this thread.

      Is that you didn't lead by example. Are you in the clergy?

      I used to not have kids, then I did have kids, then I didn't have kids. Marriage and divorce will do that. I currently kind-of have kids because my current significant other has two of them. Are they my responsibility: no. Do I still feel responsible: yes. Do I think the house Internet should be filtered: no. I'm a fan of everything (with the exception of Buddist monks performing self-immolation, that disturbs me) and I enjoy watching activities that are inappropriate for children (hell, some of it is inappropriate adults) but I expect that her kids, seemingly raised in an open and honest household, would be able to, after seeing ________, to be able to go to their mother and talk about it without fear of reprisal.

      And after having said all that, I have to check the post anonymously box, which defeats part of the purpose of this reply.

  31. Arion

    In theory I'm ok with this....

    .... but in practice it's not that simple.

    I think that protecting children, should be as simple as possible ( but no simpler ), but also that a free open internet be equally simple.

    I'm unequivocally opposed to anything that hinders a free ( as in speech ) open internet to anyone over 16 who wants it, and I don't think that a free open internet should be an 'extra feature' that you need to wade through any extra red tape ( not even the clicking of an extra box ) to get to.

    I don't think it should be opt-in ( where filtered by default ), or opt-out ( where open by default ) - I think people should have to explicitly choose whether they want filtered or unfiltered ( perhaps by checking a radio button, or a drop-down menu ( that doesn't default to either ).

    On the other hand, that all makes far too much sense, and isn't something that simpletons ( like Esther, or Politicians ) are capable of bringing around to pass. In practice they'd make a mess of it, so my preference is for them to keep their noses out of it, and leave it to the parents.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    People - Don't get distracted

    This is a co-ordinated effort using the "think of the children" argument to get a govt-ran filter list going on the internet. That way they [govt] get to filter out what they don't like.

    (helicopter icon here)

  33. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    "Technically clueless busybody wades in with useless 2c"

    A short summation of the facts.

    Sadly it's not about competence, it's about their ability to get an *audience*.

    Opt in (by default) is Phorn all over again.

    Thumbs up for the description, not the sentiment.

  34. Justice
    Childcatcher

    Welcome to the NEW Internet

    All filters are currently enabled/

    Each unlock carries a £19.95 administration charge.

    Select the service you would you like to unlock...

    All choices are recorded on a central database for your own protection.

    1 - Adult content.

    2 - Anything containing the word 'torrent' or '.nzb'

    3 - All non-authorised religious material.

    4 - All non-sanctioned political material.

    5 - Anything relating to 'terrorist' organisations.

    6 - Anything else we can think of.

    1. Andus McCoatover
      Joke

      Re: Welcome to the NEW Internet

      You forgot to mention -

      The £19.95 would be subject to VAT. Er, Value Added Tax...? Taxing a wank? (OK at my age it's quite taxing...)

  35. Andus McCoatover
    Joke

    Can't understand what's wrong with an "Enhanced Jodrell Bank".

    (Note to self: Stock up on more writeable DVD's and learn 'wget' more thoroughly. Oh, and buy a much bigger DVD rack.....)

  36. This Side Up
    FAIL

    Let Esther Rantzen...

    write a program to detect without human intervention whether a web page, text, image or video is pornographic. She doesn't need to code it - a detailed specification will do. First of all define what pornography is. It doesn't include innocuous nudity like the odd prince cavorting in Vegas, or a mother holding a naked baby or a wardrobe malfunction or a fine art nude painting. The offending material may not be on the home page and the route to it may not be obvious. If she can do that then she can talk to the telcos about it.

    It's easy to come up with a list of sites that do contain hardcore material but it will never be exhaustive. Sites come and go, change IP addresses and domains. Is she prepared to trawl the web and ftp servers and usenet and file sharing sites and bit torrents to maintain the list? If she relies on people to report sites it will be too late.

    No. If kids find smut it's because they were loking for it. If they encounter censorship they will find a way around it. That just adds to the challenge. Finding the forbidden fruit is more exciting that eating it.

  37. Camilla Smythe Silver badge
    Facepalm

    One notes that the document at,

    http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/doc/p/parental%20internet%20controls%20response%20form.doc

    when viewed in OpenOffice under Ubuntu still takes 10 minutes to import because the fricking thing 'phones home' to download content...

    http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/5939/securedcsf.png

    ..... and fails because the content is not available so it has another go as you scroll through things and fails again..... Du-Oh.... and it's a word document, what happened to .pdf? Du-Oh... and the questions are biased.... Du-Oh

  38. JeevesMkII
    Trollface

    Sending explicit pictures...

    ... "via text"? So that would be 8======D then?

  39. Dropper

    The Daily Fail Replies..

    What Esther should do is write a strongly worded letter to America as they control the interwebs. If the internet was under the UK control, as is right and proper, everything you'd want it to do would happen - including not being allowed to put anything on the internet that isn't true. Then the old truism 'it must be real because I read it on the internet' would actually be a truism plus we could stop pr0n from happening to kids. Two birds, one stone and all that.

    And to those ne'erdowells that argue that kids deliberately look up boobies on the internet, I say you should be whipped then put on a ship to Australia where you belong.

    As a side note I'd like to say that we should bring back hanging.

  40. noodled24

    OPT-OUT MAKES MORE SENSE

    It's insane to think that the entire country should loose their right to privacy because some parents don't monitor their own children. The only good that could possibly come from this is when celebrities and MPs are named as being "on the porn register" - and this WILL happen.

    Then there is the question of how on earth you would go about blocking this kind of thing?

    - Keywords? nope wouldn't work without the likes of Ann Summers being caught in the crossfire.

    - A Whitelist? nope. Far too many websites to be practical

    - A Blacklist? It would grow bigger by the hour. Plus should a porn site close down and a regular business decides to buy the domain, they'd then have to go through all the trouble of getting it un-blacklisted.

    This really is a case of someone technologically illiterate coming up with proposals that don't even make sense. When questioned about it the stock reply is "there are smarter people than me to figure THAT out" - in other words "I don't know, I've not thought it through.

    The country is in a recession. There are better ways to spend this time and money.

    If parents are worried then why not have an opt-out system. They can call their ISP and say "Here is my phone number - please block adult content". Problem solved.

    Using an opt-in system just makes no sense. After going to the time and expense of implementing it 90% of the country will then "opt-in". Rendering the entire system pointless. Other than the fact that everyone who looks at porn is now on a database somewhere waiting to have their details shared/sold.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      Re: OPT-OUT MAKES MORE SENSE

      "It's insane to think that the entire country should loose their right to privacy because some parents don't monitor their own children. "

      They won't

      That's the purpose of the Communications Data Act.

  41. pctechxp

    Nice lady, shame about the lack of technical savvy

    While this lady has my respect for quite a few things she has done to help people like setting up Childline or presenting consumer advice TV pieces her comments show complete ignorance of the technical practicalities of what she is asking for, its a tad different than ordering 500 phone lines from BT.

    As others have said, responsible adults should not leave their kids in front of the computer unattended, it is not a baby sitter and any technical measures will be circumvented by the unscrupulous and just lead to legitimate non adult material being blocked when the filter code malfunctions which causes aggravation for the rest of us.

    Better still keep them off the net till they are 18.

  42. Mr Young
    Meh

    I can only hope...

    my kids have never seen the Daily Mail site - totally disgusting. What sort of credibility can Esther possibly gain from associating herself with it?

  43. Khaptain Silver badge
    FAIL

    Why is Porn bad for you ?

    Has any study ever really proven that porn is bad for you?

    Sex was and probably still is the most saught after item on the web. Children might "accidently" see some naked bodies and some people copulating energetically.

    Now outside of Animal Porn, which is illegal, and some goatse and 2 cups vids what exactly is it that kids should not see ?

    Vaginas, Penis, Breasts : each of has at least one of the aformentioned, some with hair , some without. Should we be scared of our own bodies as well. Should we call the police in case of an accidental hardon.

    So many question, so few answers........ We love you Esther, you are just so damned helpfull, I don't know what the Internet would have done without you. [/sarcasm]

    1. Random Moniker
      Thumb Up

      Re: Why is Porn bad for you ?

      No. It is all in the heads of god-botherers and puritanical idiots.

      And a number of studies have shown conclusively that a bit of self-relaxation, is very good for you, physiologically and psychologically.

  44. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Miek
      Linux

      Re: If you're going to...

      "99% of people will never use FTP or SMTP or most ports other that HTTP and HTTPS." -- Are you kidding?

  45. Old Handle

    I worry about the chilling effect

    Suppose this worked exactly as intended, with the result that all people to lazy/clueless to change a default setting are now filtered. Assuming the filter is designed so as to actually prevent a curious child from finding porn, it will necessarily have to block sites that contain even a small amount of pornographic content*. This would include, for example, Wikipedia and most blogging platforms. That's not even counting sites that don't allow porn be inventively have a small amount of at any one time because they haven't deleted it yet.

    So now all of a sudden thousands of lazy/clueless people are going "Why the heck can't I access Wikipedia/that blog I heard about?" Some will no doubt figure it out and turn off the filter, but the rest will be shut out. And what about the sites that have lost their visitors this way? Either they can accept it, or they can try to completely sanitize their content. I trust Wikipedia to stick to their guns, but commercial sites don't have the luxury to say "Oh well, to bad" when they lose customers. Each day they're on that blacklist they're losing money. So essentially every site that isn't explicitly pornographic will, regardless of their target age demographic, be under pressure to limit their content to whatever is deemed acceptable for children.

    *Yes, I know it's possible to do finer grained filtering than per domain, but I still don't foresee it working out very well. I'm sure you all remember the IWF-Wiki-Virgin Killer incident.

  46. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Pr0n already is opt-in!

    These numptys of course want a national-level censorship regime in place, which is absurd. Pr0n already is opt-in, in fact they'd prefer to have your credit card information as well. I'm all for having those few sites that don't already have a fairl plain front page, and a "Porn ahead! Only click this if you're over 18!" type warning to adopt one. THAT IS OPT IN, and most sites already have it! But of course that is not what these people REALLY want at all.

  47. The Nameless Mist
    Facepalm

    Opt-In for household level ..

    Simple solution.

    > Taking up an Internet Connection

    ISP "Do you have people under the age of 16 in your household?"

    Parent "Yes"

    ISP "no-pr0n for you then"

    Parent "oh .. urm ..well actually I'd like to watch it sometimes"

    ISP "but you have kidz, and you ticked the survey 5 years ago about wanting to prevent kidz watching pr0n".

    Parent "but I'll keep the kidz of the computer"

    ISP "laughter down phone line".

    Parent "sigh .. ok no pr0n please".

    ISP "serves you right you interfering busy body".

  48. A J Stiles

    Better Idea

    Just ban children from the Internet.

  49. Great Bu

    Much easier option

    Is just to sit with your kids for a couple of hours showing them as much internet porn as possible and telling them that it's really cool and that you want them to look at it for at least 2 hours every single day.

    They will then immediately stop looking for porn and avoid it at all costs just on the principle that if their parents think it's cool it automatically becomes uncool.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Much easier option

      I can only assume you fell asleep when you were ten and only woke up a decade later.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Re: Much easier option

      It'll work better if you can show them that video of you and the wife that you uploaded 15 years ago.

  50. Miek
    Trollface

    "But I believe it’s now time to protect young people from this new danger." -- Try supervising them.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019